84 riots: Cong challenges US court`s jurisdiction

Congress party which has been named in a case here for its alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has challenged the jurisdiction of a US court.

Updated: May 10, 2012, 18:51 PM IST

New York: Congress party, which has been named in a case here for its alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has challenged the jurisdiction of a US court to hear the matter filed against it by a Sikh advocacy group.

US Judge Robert Sweet of federal court here heard oral arguments yesterday in the case filed by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) on the issues of service, jurisdiction and Congress`s failure to respond to the summons in the case.

Sweet said Congress party has not filed any defence on the merits of the allegations of conspiring, aiding, abetting, organizing and carrying out the attacks on Sikhs in November 1984.

It has, however, challenged the US court`s jurisdiction to hear the case of 1984 Sikh genocide.

Attorneys from the law firm `Jones Day` representing the Congress party argued that under the Alien Tort Claims Act, a "corporation" cannot be sued for human rights violations by its members.

Lawyers for the victims argued there is difference between the status of a "corporation" and "political organisation".

SFJ said since the Congress party is taking the defence that a political party cannot be sued under Alien Tort Claims Act, the victims will amend the complaint to include the names of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and national leadership of the party in their capacities as President and office bearers.

Jones Day attorneys further said service of summons on the party through Hague Convention is flawed because the party`s headquarters in New Delhi did not receive the summons and complaint.

PTI